Norton Cancer Institute Brownsboro

Norton Healthcare is providing veterans with a patient navigator to help guide them through the health care system’s complexities that may be keeping them from needed care.

Veterans sometimes are not aware of the services that are available to them, especially if they’re new to the area, the health system said in a news release.

“Their greatest challenges are how (to) access care and where to get services,” Dr. Joseph M. Flynn, physician-in-chief at Norton Cancer Institute and chief administrative officer of Norton Medical Group, told Insider via email.

Veterans’ health care also can be very complicated: Most veterans are not eligible for VA Health care, and they often may be on a combination of health plans, from TRICARE to employer-based care and Medicare.

Dr. Joseph Flynn

“The navigator will help them through the process when they may not know where to call,” Dr. Flynn, a U.S. Army veteran, said in a news release. “We’ll make sure that a veteran can access the care they need in a timely manner, as well as help if additional services are needed.”

Veterans can contact the health system’s veterans’ patient navigator at 502-629-VETS or [email protected].

Norton Healthcare told Insider that it was not incurring any additional costs to make the services available to veterans because the role is being filled by an existing staff member. The system could not provide information about how many veterans annually seek care from Norton.

Flynn said that Norton decided to provide the service “to give back to those who sacrificed for our country.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Kentucky was home to 295,390 veterans in 2017, with 143,032 being in the VA health care system. To be eligible for VA benefits, most veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980 or entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 25 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty to be eligible.

The Norton navigator is available to any veteran, regardless of VA eligibility.

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Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.